So I just hit level 70 last night on my LOTRO captain, putting me halfway between the old level cap of 65 and the new one of 75. As I discussed earlier, I’m not caring quite as much about “going slow” and trying to enjoy the leveling content because, well… I’m just not enjoying it that much. Maybe it’s because Dunland isn’t as iconic an area as Mirkwood or Moria was, maybe it’s because I know there will just be a grind for gear awaiting me at the end of the road, maybe it’s because I’ve got a 65 lore-master and rune-keeper waiting in the wings to level (sorry my 65 hunter, you’re being seriously downgraded).
I feel a little like I’m just going through the motions of leveling and am becoming a little dismayed in general with the overall notion of leveling. It’s a topic for a longer post, but it seems like so much design time is put into the leveling process, with zones, quests, NPCs, etc., when so much of our time is spent at the level cap doing a much smaller subset of content. Rise of Isengard seems to take this to the extreme. There’s another instance cluster in the works, but for now, the only new “endgame” content is a single-fight raid. Cool as it should be, it’s a little odd that there would be so much space, with three new zones, to get those 10 levels, and then a tiny, one-off fight that’s supposed to keep us occupied for the next couple of months (oh, and we can repeat old instances for new, level 75 gear — yay). LOTRO isn’t the only MMO that does this, of course, and it’s probably why we’re seeing MOBAs rise in popularity, since they are, in effect, just the “endgame” instances, without any of that annoying open-world stuff. It’s yet another reason to look forward to Guild Wars 2. As I was told in an interview with the devs back in January, “the game is the endgame.” Mind = blown.
That’s all for today — MOG #34 goes to the printer on Friday, so it’s work work work, which is much less entertaining than my typical week schedule of sleep sleep sleep.